Meaning of RECALCITRANT in English

I. -nt adjective

Etymology: Late Latin recalcitrant-, recalcitrans, from present participle of recalcitrare to be stubbornly disobedient, from Latin, to kick back, from re- + calcitrare to kick, from calc-, calx heel — more at calk

1. : obstinately defiant of authority or restraint : stubbornly disobedient

recalcitrant and dangerous heretics and obstructionists — G.L.Kline

a recalcitrant child

call forth the forces of the Union to coerce recalcitrant states — S.E.Morison & H.S.Commager


a. : difficult or impossible to handle or operate : unmanageable

the materials in these fields are more complex and more recalcitrant than the simpler and more readily measurable phenomena of the languages — Mortimer Graves

the car had a recalcitrant gearshift lever — M.M.Musselman

b. : not responsive to treatment

many of these patients were suffering from recalcitrant forms of the disease — Journal American Medical Association

c. : resistant — usually used with to

this subject is recalcitrant both to observation and to experiment — G.G.Simpson

nothing perhaps is more recalcitrant to logical systematization than local custom — G.H.Sabine

Synonyms: see unruly

II. noun

( -s )

: one who is recalcitrant

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.